Less violence, less army presence: U.S. braces for Mexican shift in drug war focus.

La fuerza militar del Estado Mexicano en Michoacán, principal participante…

La fuerza militar del Estado Mexicano en Michoacán, principal participante en la Guerra contra el Narcotráfico. Diego Fernández /Wiki

The top three contenders for Mexico’s presidency have all promised a major shift in the country’s drug war strategy, placing a higher priority on reducing the violence in Mexico than on using arrests and seizures to block the flow of drugs to the United States.

The candidates, while vowing to continue to fight drug trafficking, say they intend to eventually withdraw the Mexican Army from the drug fight. They are concerned that it has proved unfit for police work and has contributed to the high death toll, which has exceeded 50,000 since the departing president, Felipe Calderón, made the military a cornerstone of his battle against drug traffickers more than five years ago.

The front-runner, Enrique Peña Nieto, does not emphasize stopping drug shipments or capturing drug kingpins as he enters the final weeks of campaigning for the July 1 election. Lately he has suggested that while Mexico should continue to work with the United States government against organized crime, it should not “subordinate to the strategies of other countries.”

Source: Randal C. Archibold and Damien Cave for the New York Times via MSNBC.

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  • Jay C.

    Mexico is in a civil war, partly due to their bad economic conditions AND the insatiable American appetite (demand) for drugs.